The latest upgrade to Roxio's comprehensive disc-burning suite introduces some welcome improvements, but Roxio Creator 2010 costs significantly more than competing packages.

Roxio's Creator Suite for optical disc burning lets you produce professional-looking disc menus, labels, and the like without a lot of artistic effort. Like previous iterations, the latest version, Roxio Creator 2010, does more than just burn discs. And Creator 2010 improves on its predecessor's interface and feature set, though the advances may not justify the upgrade cost for current users.

When augmented with the separately sold Blu-ray plug-ins (£14), Roxio Creator 2010 is as comprehensive a burning suite as you can find. It covers all aspects of video/audio capture and editing, disc authoring, and everything else CD\DVD\BD0-related.

The most noticeable change to Roxio Creator 2010 is the launch centre's new look. Its layout closely resembles that of Creator 2009, but a new Learning Center option hosts tutorial videos covering some of the more-complex tasks that Creator handles. The rest of the suite presents much the same appearance and workflow as Creator 2009.

One major convenience of Roxio Creator 2010 is the new smart encoding feature. The software now reencodes only the portions of a video that you've edited and changed. This approach makes encoding much faster and may help preserve image quality.

All versions of Roxio Creator 2010 can save internet audio and video, back up AVCHD video to DVD and Blu-ray, perform BD-RE editing on disc, and support nVidia CUDA and ATI Stream video conversion acceleration. The £69 Creator 2010 Pro includes the Blu-ray authoring plug-ins and adds several bundled applications, including LightZone - a tantalising tool that corrects lighting problems in digital images.

If you have the most recent version of Creator, the £34 upgrade price might be too high. If you're coming from an older version, the new features may be more appealing. And if you want Blu-ray playback, count on paying another £19 for Roxio CinePlayer BD. The suite costs significantly more than the equally powerful Nero 9; and even Cyberlink DVD Suite 7 Ultra with Blu-ray playback is competitive, though the plug-ins included with Roxio Creator 2010 Pro help make it good value.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

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Roxio Creator 2010: Specs

  • Microsoft Windows Vista/XP SP3/7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate
  • Intel 1.6 GHz Pentium 4 processor or AMD equivalent
  • 512MB RAM (Multi-core processor with at least 2GB RAM recommended)
  • 1024x768 DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card with at least 16-bit coloor setting, sound card, DVD-ROM drive
  • 3GB free space
  • Windows Media Player version 10, 11 or 12
  • Internet Explorer 7 or 8
  • internet connection
  • Microsoft Windows Vista/XP SP3/7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate
  • Intel 1.6 GHz Pentium 4 processor or AMD equivalent
  • 512MB RAM (Multi-core processor with at least 2GB RAM recommended)
  • 1024x768 DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card with at least 16-bit coloor setting, sound card, DVD-ROM drive
  • 3GB free space
  • Windows Media Player version 10, 11 or 12
  • Internet Explorer 7 or 8
  • internet connection

OUR VERDICT

In a world where many free programs can handle basic burning tasks and even basic audio video chores, you should spend your money carefully on software that makes video editing, disc authoring, and possibly Blu-ray playback easy. Roxio Creator 2010 shines in those areas, but so do a host of less expensive individual competitors.

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